Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Texas frontier courts open up for migrants south of the border

The tent courts are located in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas. Officials say they will help clear a backlog of asylum seekers.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimate that some 42,000 migrants had been sent to wait in Mexico through early September to wait for their applications to be processed.

The surge in migrants at the U.S. southern border, combined with the need for intricate legal and logistical arrangements in a limited number of courts – only in San Diego and El Paso, initially have put a strain on facilities in the United States, according to officials.

Migrants returning to Mexico after their hearings told Reuters they were not optimistic of their chances of getting their asylum applications cleared.

The program – known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) – has forced tens of thousands of people to wait in Mexico for U.S. court dates, swamping the dockets and leading to delays and confusion as judges and staff struggle to handle the influx of cases.

Rather than being released into the United States to coordinate their own transportation and legal appearances, migrants in Mexico must come and go across the border strictly under U.S. custody.

(Production: Abismael Rubio, Josue Gonzalez)

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